North Korea will suspend nuclear and missile tests effective immediately and abolish a nuclear test site in a bid to pursue economic growth and peace on the Korean Peninsula, state media said, ahead of planned summits with South Korea and the United States.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said his country no longer needed to conduct nuclear tests or intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests because it has completed its goal of developing nuclear weapons, the country’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.
“To guarantee suspension of nuclear tests in a transparent manner, the republic’s northern nuclear test site will be abolished,” the KCNA said, after Mr Kim convened this year’s first plenary session of the Central Committee of the ruling Worker’s Party.
The KCNA said the country was making the move to shift its national focus and improve its economy.
“The overall projects of the party and the country will be geared towards building of a socialist economy, and all our efforts will be made towards it.”
North Korea also said it will engage in talks with the international community, paving the way for the summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, planned for next week, and a meeting with US President Donald Trump in late May or early June.
Some analysts believe Mr Kim is entering the negotiations from a position of strength and is unlikely to accept a significant cut of his arsenal.
South Korean and US officials have said Mr Kim is likely trying to save his broken economy from heavy sanctions.
Mr Trump welcomed the statement about the meeting and said he looked forward to a summit with Mr Kim.
“North Korea has agreed to suspend all nuclear tests and close up a major test site,” he said on Twitter.
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